South Africa Now Ranks 3rd in the World for Economic Crimes – PwC

Must Read

Top 10 Youngest Presidents In Africa (Updated: 2021)

In recent years there has been a subtle surge of politicians in their 30s and 40s winning leadership roles...

African Culture: The Wodaabe Tribe Wife Stealing Festival

The Wodaabe tribe is a small subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group. They are traditionally nomadic cattle-herders and traders...

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Becomes First Female Head of World Trade Organization

Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed to head the World Trade Organization as it seeks to to resolve disagreements over how it decides cases involving billions in sales and thousands of jobs.

South Africa is third in the world when it comes to economic crime, according to PwC’s 2020 Global and Economic Crime and Fraud Survey.

At the launch of the survey in Johannesburg, the PwC forensic team and a panel which included PwC SA’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey Leader Trevor White, highlighted the rising impact of economic crimes in the private sector and the country’s economy as a whole.

The PwC surveyed over 5000 individuals from across 99 territories to compile the survey. In South Africa alone, there were 245 respondents, with the majority (71%) at chief executive level.

South African respondents to the survey reported an economic crimes rate of 60% – the lowest level since 2011 – having improved from 77% in 2018. South Africa follows China and India which reported an economics crimes rate of 69% and 60% respectively.

Although South Africa has experienced a 17% decrease in the level of economic crimes reported, compared to the rest of the world this is a shallow victory. This is largely because the level of reported crime in South Africa remains significantly higher than the global average of 47%.

The types of economic crimes that have been reported in the country vary, with customer fraud being the highest recorded economic crime, according to the PwC report. Incidents of customer fraud that have been reported stand at 47% for 2019, having worsened from 42% reported in 2018.

Related:   African Culture: The Wodaabe Tribe Wife Stealing Festival

This is followed by bribery and corruption at 42%, up from 30% in 2018. Accounting or financial statement fraud also featured, showing a 12% increase to 34%. It is anticipated that these crimes are likely to cause more disruption in the country in the next 24 months.

Financial statement fraud is fast becoming alarming as this type of crime involves senior members of companies. According to PwC, senior management involvement in these crimes as perpetrators has spiked to 34% in 2020 from 20% in 2018.

White said financial statement fraud strains the economy and as a result becomes hard to miss. “I think what’s really caused them to start to be exposed is the downturn in the economy. There’s not so many places to hide and as a result, the organisations can’t keep this house of cards going. If there is a small crack, everything crumbles,” said White.

Related:   Abuna Yemata Guh: The Most Inaccessible Place of Worship on Earth is Located in Ethiopia

The silver lining on a very dark cloud, is that assets misrepresentation which is one of the popular forms of economic crime in South Africa decreased drastically from 49% to 23%.

“People aren’t considering petty theft – just theft of assets – as an economic crime anymore because there is now the exposure of bribery and corruption and financial statement fraud and cybercrime. They are starting to think that those are the real economic crimes,” White said.

AD: Get a professional website for you business - Click Here

According to PwC, 41% of perpetrators in economic crimes are from within the company, 36% are from outside and 21% of crimes are a combination of both internal and external actors.


Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

Top 10 Youngest Presidents In Africa (Updated: 2021)

In recent years there has been a subtle surge of politicians in their 30s and 40s winning leadership roles...

More Articles Like This